This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
One always feels tempted to indulge in the prefix "Royal" in naming this admirable school at South Kensington, and we hope that the time is not distant when it may be in order to do so. Miss Reeks' class-rooms and workshops are in aggravating proximity to the Royal School of Art Needlework; in fact they occupy the top floor of the building of that famed institution. If Royalty could have been induced to mount so high, we believe that the excellent exhibition of students' work shown during December might have brought the school within measurable distance of the deferred honour in question. The special feature of the occasion was a small collection of carvings by the late W. H. Grimwood, the much-lamented instructor, to whose memory Miss Eleanor Rowe, the former principal of the School, pays a fitting tribute in another part of the Magazine, with interesting comments on the examples of his work that accompany her remarks. We must defer until next month further illustration of the exhibition, when we hope to devote considerable space to the work of the school.
Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.
Early in December there was an interesting exhibition of students' work at this flourishing institution. Silversmith and jewellery and decorative metal work for cabinet-makers are new subjects in the curriculum, and it was gratifying to see what a good beginning has been made in each of these branches. Mr. Meggs and Mr. Cowell should be proud of their pupils. We were specially attracted by the work of Ella Champion; it was no less creditable in a pendant, brooch, and hat-pin than in a chalice and paten, which were set with "enamels," consisting of bits of Howson Taylor's beautiful single colour porcelains, which, by the way, arc being used .1 great deal, instead of the more costly enamels, and, as a rule, with far better effect; for these bits of porcelain are always good in glaze and colour - which cannot be said of the enamels on metal by amateurs. Other notable first year's work - in each instance executed by the designer - was the silver jewellery of Muriel Brooks. Dora Thomson, Lizzie Bradgate, F. Burlingham, Benj. Yenner, and H. Wanhorst. Miss Burlingham also showed a doorplate in copper oxidised, and there were serviceable-looking hammered copper cups and chalices designed and executed by 11 Parkinson and Allan Allport. In the same case was a large leather-bound Bible, the admirable production of Miss K. Hornblower, who forwarded and finished it.
In the bookbinding class, which is fortunate in having for instructors such expert craftsmen as Mr. Sutclilfe and Mr. Gatward, made a capital show. We specially admired, for the good taste of its design and its beauty of finish, a gold-tooled red morocco binding by F. D. Rye, but no less creditable were A. Wright's binding in green morocco with red inlay and gold tooled; W. Terry's binding in green morocco, with gold tooling of notable excellence, and A. Langford's in white vellum daintily inlaid with red roses and green leaves. Other pleasing examples were by F. Tammadge, E. Metcalfe.W. Phillips, A. Chappie, W. Chapman. A. Blake, and Mr. Meggs.
There was a small but very good show of cabinet work, con-tributed chiefly by Herbert Martin, whose toilet table in Italian satin-wood was charming in line and exquisite in finish, the grain of the wood supplying almost the only decoration. No less artistic and workmanlike was his oak chair, based on a Norwegian design, very sparingly inlaid with ivory and ebony.
The Modelling exhibit was not strong, but we must mention the humorously conceived bracket (by R. O. Gross) supported by squirrels nibbling acorns, their tails amicably and decora-tively interlaced, and the capital for a pilaster, the support being afforded by a comical owl flanked by eagles - both objects intended for stonework - and a cherub carved in stone by H. E. Tilbury, showing beautiful modelling.
The drawings in black and white are all stamped with the same heavy conventional technique which rules at all the official schools in the kingdom, almost to the exclusion of individuality in artistic expression. Sooner or later the re-action must come against this jack-knife imitation of the decorative handling of Mr. Walter Crane - with whom, however, a somewhat coarse technique is logical enough, for he is a master who habitually draws with the brush - and then, perhaps, we may see again such pen-work as that with which Mr. Joseph Pennell and Mr. Herbert Railton used to delight us, a technique of values, a technique of sunlight and shadow, based on the study of nature, as taught by the drawings of Vierge and Fortuny. In the meanwhile we may say that the black and white work of the Camberwell students is as good as the cramped technique forced upon them will permit. It is, by the way, very suitable for the cleverly designed playing cards shown by Miss V. Kell, or the "Bedtime Stories " outlines by O. M. Wood, which would look well filled in with flat tints, in the manner of Boutet de Monville. R. Montes, a young Spaniard, shows vigour, and Miss Foulger dignified simplicity. Among the one year's students, F. Heinlin is quite remarkable, and the work of" J. W. Campbell, A. E. Waters, and Dorothy Goddard - a mere child, we understand - is full of promise. In decorative design, there was but little calling for mention. Miss Kell had a striking cartoon for fresco, and J. H. Hogan a clever design for a leaded window, which, however, will need modification before it can be used for the purpose intended. A word of praise is due to Miss E.Wright and her pupils for the creditable little exhibit of embroidery. Especi-ally worthy of mention were some doylies by Miss Venables, upon which pomegranates, buttercups, and grape vine were very daintily worked; the specimens of Miss L. Appleby, Miss I). Butcher, and Mrs. M. Dalton were charming. Altogether the exhibition showed a gratifying measure of progress, and the energetic principal, Mr. W. B. Dalton, and his very capable stall, are to be congratulated. M. M. Sir John Cass Technical Institute.